Support for the Reinstatement of a Seconded Officer to the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services to deal with Domestic Violence issues
June 16, 2010
Preamble: Domestic Violence continues to be one of the most prevalent calls for service within all Ontario police services. These calls are often complicated and there is a high risk factor attached to them as we know that domestic incidents are the leading causes of homicide in Canada. At the end of 2009 the Ontario Government 4 year Domestic Violence Action Plan was concluded. With the conclusion of that plan the funding for a seconded officer to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services ceased. Although the Domestic Violence Action Plan funded the seconded position from January 2008 until December 2009, the seconded officer position actually existed since 1987. Currently, the Ministry is without a seconded police officer providing leadership and informed guidance on this very important topic.
WHEREAS in 1987, the Ministry of the Solicitor General seconded an officer from Peel Regional Police to become the Victims’ Assistance Training Coordinator designing training manuals and video training called “Consider the Victim” to be delivered throughout the province, and
WHEREAS in 1989 the seconded officer became more focused on issues of Domestic Violence resulting in the Ontario Police College expanding the 45 minute recruit training domestic violence module to 2.5 days of training in 1990 for all Ontario police officers as well as initiating policy development work with the Ministry for a domestic violence response for Ontario, and
WHEREAS in 1991 the Ontario Provincial Police filled the seconded officer position and took on the review and evaluation of police policy and training regarding Domestic Violence, and
WHEREAS these secondments, utilizing officers from different police organizations continued until 2007 at which point there was a gap year until January 2008, and
WHEREAS in 2005 the Ontario government implemented a 4 year Domestic Violence Action Plan (DVAP) report with the vision to “free all women and their children from the fear or threat of domestic violence” stating that “it’s a long term vision that will require many partners and it will take time - perhaps a generation - to do it right”, and
WHEREAS on January 1st 2008, an officer from Toronto Police Services was seconded to work with the Standards Development Officer for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to provide expertise and knowledge of training necessary to bring the Domestic Violence Action Plan to life, and
WHEREAS during the period of secondment from January 1st 2008 until December 2009 the seconded officer completed 56 police agency reviews and compliance audits relative to the provincial Domestic Violence Procedure (LE024) as wells as coordinating the completion of a Domestic Violence- Investigative Aid for Police Guidebook and a Police Communicators’ standardized checklist, and
WHEREAS the officer lead the Domestic Violence Coordinators’ Committee through quarterly meetings as per the Ministry, to advise on various components of domestic violence issues including relevant information gleaned from meetings with the inter-Ministerial committee of the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat (OVSS) and the High Risk Management Committee for the Ministry of the Attorney General, and
WHEREAS at the end of 2009 the Ontario Government ended the funding to this secondment despite the fact that the position had been delivering added value within the Ministry and policing organizations for many years prior to the Domestic Violence Action Plan, and
WHEREAS the 6th Annual Report of the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee released in 2008 stated that between 2002 and 2007, as a result of domestic violence, 142 women were killed at the hands of their partner/ex-partner and 23 children and 65 men died needlessly, and
WHEREAS the 6th Annual Report of the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee released in 2008 made six different recommendations to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to help decrease the risk of lethality in domestic violent incidents in the province.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police calls on the Government of Ontario to reinstate funding for a seconded police officer to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. This officer would assist in coordinating the collective policing efforts with government to develop and deliver strategic programs and front-line responses to incidents of domestic violence with a view to eliminating the needless domestic violence related deaths in Ontario.